Brexit fisheries fury: EU supertrawlers relentless

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Such is the constant presence of EU-flagged ships in the Channel, the group warned British fishermen are now on the brink of extinction. In an outburst at the UK Government, Fonia Nicholls, Ocean Campaigner for the group, claimed fishermen who had voted for Brexit had been neglected. She added that the Government is no longer listening to those who have been so severely impacted by the EU’s continuous assault on Britain’s fish stocks.

Speaking to she said: “They haven’t done anything at all.

“It’s just a complete disservice to the people that believed in that process so strongly and many of whom were the real forefront of Brexit campaign you know, they really saw like knew there was something to gain and we do have post-Brexit powers.

“We’ve got the Fisheries Act and it lays out really clearly there are ways that we can control the fishing that happens in UK waters now we’ve regained sovereignty but we just aren’t doing it.

“It’s happening relentlessly out there, and the fishermen are on the brink.”

EU ships rely heavily on the waters around the UK which was why Brussels fought so hard to retain a large share of fishing quotas within the Brexit deal.

Although the UK is now an independent coastal state, EU ships are allowed within up to between six and 12 nautical miles of certain parts of the UK.

Britain will receive a 25 percent quota return as part of the five-year deal but UK fishermen had demanded a large portion of stock plus a more extended access point for EU ships.

Greenpeace witnessed several EU supertrawlers fishing around the English coastline during its Ocean Witness campaign over the summer.

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During its campaign, the group also joined several fishing groups and associations, along with the New Economics Foundation, Angling Trust, and direct-to-consumer businesses Sole of Discretion and Pesky Fish to call the Government to action.

UK fishermen are being forced into extinction due to the presence of EU supertrawlers and fly-shooter vessels.

Indeed, Greenpeace previously warned EU ships spent the equivalent of almost four years in UK waters last year.

About 16,000 hours were spent in Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), specially designated conservation regions.


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Fly-shooter vessels are highly effective as they drag heavy-weighted nets along the seabed at either end of a net that encircles and captures entire shoals of fish.

Although Greenpeace has claimed nothing has been done, the Fisheries Act gives the UK control of its waters.

The act also gives the UK powers to decide which vessels can fish in Britain’s waters.

Despite these powers, fishermen claimed fly-shooters and EU supertrawlers are destroying the seabed and destroying fish stocks.

George Eustice, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: “Now that we’re outside the European Union we’ve got the ability to be able to put restrictions in place on many of those larger vessels, new technical measures that we have the power to introduce.

“We’ve got powers that we never had previously.

“We’ve already taken some steps to close and introduce new protections in areas such as the Dogger Bank.

“We’ve got other plans to put in place new protections for our marine environment.”

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